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Stainless Steel Casting vs. Machining

Most people are well aware of the fact that the stainless steel investment casting process can be used to produce precise stainless steel parts with superior quality and exceptional properties. The meat grinder components, automotive components, cookware handles, safety stirrups, marine hardwares, and some other irregular parts that are created with the help of stainless steel casting process.

Stainless Steel Casting vs. Machining

Stainless steel casting is just one of the processes that are used to make stainless steel parts of desired shapes and attributes. Apart from that, other metal shaping techniques used by manufacturers includes forging and machining. Machining is one of the most common and effective processes for making stainless steel parts nowadays. In most cases, stainless steel foundry adopts investment casting process to achieve the desired results and save money. Nevertheless, some shapes are not suitable for casting. In such instances, manufacturers use machining to produce stainless steel parts with excellent properties.

In the stainless steel casting process, wax patterns are produced by injecting wax into the mold, then are assembled together to form a “tree”. Coat the tree to form ceramic shell and melt the wax in the shell to achieve a hollow cavity . Once the cavity is filled within liquid stainless steel, casters in the stainless steel foundry patiently wait for it too cool down, and then remove it by using suitable process. The minor flaws or defects in the finished product are resolved with the help of finishing processes. However, the steps involved in stainless steel casting are very much different when compared to machining.

The machining of stainless steel mainly refers to CNC machining, which obviously hints on the technological advancements being used in the process. CNC machining maximizes the efficiency of the metal shaping process by automating a major part of the process. However, the cost involved in this method is relatively high, which is why they are not as commonly used as stainless steel casting.

It is significant to note that stainless steel casting manufacturers often use machining and stainless steel casting techniques together in order to produce an excellent finishing product. For instance, some stainless steel casting parts are often subjected to machining in order to increase the tolerance of the finished product. In addition to that, machining processes can also be used to make the die itself. Since no tooling cost is involved in CNC machining, it is the better choice for producing less number of stainless steel parts.

When to Use Machining for Stainless Steel Castings

In many cases, stainless steel casting is not enough for some special shapes and dimensions. It needs additional machining. Many factors can determine whether the stainless steel castings will be post machined. It includes casting process, complexity, and dimensional and surface finish requirements. Once the precision of stainless steel casting can not fulfill the required finished component. Machining operations will be choosed. If the tolerances for some dimensions are too tight for the casting process, they could only be met by machining. Or, if there is any higher surface finish requirement, machining is also needed to meet the drawing’s specification.

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